Already shell-shocked from attacks by the Islamic extremist group an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria, Christians again took cover after the August 27th shooting of Mark Ojunta, a 36-year-old evangelist from southern Nigeria who was ministering amid the Kotoko people of Nigeria’s northeastern state with Calvary Ministries (CAPRO). He was killed in Maiduguri, CAPRO International Director Amos Aderonmu reported.
CAPRO had learned that all of its staff members working among the Shuwa Arab, Kotoko and Kanuri peoples of Nigeria were on a an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria list of people to be killed. After learning of this they evacuated staff members and their families. On Friday, August 26, after Ojunta evacuated his wife Ema and their two children, he returned to teach a Saturday class when he was killed.
Only a few days earlier, Ojunta had been invited to take a position at CAPRO’s international office in London. Ojunta turned down the appointment because he “wanted to invest more years into the work among the Kotokos,” said Aderonmu. Four days later an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria members knocked on Ojunta’s door. He attempted to escape, but was not successful. Aderonmu said that Ojunta was the “first martyr in CAPRO in our 36 years of existence as a ministry.”
Ojunta is survived by his wife Ema and their children, 3-year-old Kambe and 9-month-old Akira, as well as his parents and sisters. He was buried in his home state of Abia, in southern Nigeria, on September 30 where Aderonmu honored the faithful life and ministry of Ojunta who died “as a martyr on his field among the Kotokos.”
Thank You, Father, for the testimony of Mark Ojunta’s faithful ministry to Christ’s work among the Kotokos people. We lift up his wife and children as they face life without their husband and father. We pray that You would comfort them, grant them direction and satisfy their temporal needs. And we pray for the Christians of Nigeria as You continue to teach them the hard lessons of serving You faithfully and courageously in the midst of persecution. Protect and comfort them, give them courage and discernment in the midst of their grim circumstances, and open their eyes to Your presence among them. Amen